For most DIYers, the current breed of outdoor battery-powered tools means you can leave gas gear behind for good. And leave it to a power tool company to lead the way towards simpler yard maintenance with a system that makes it easier to tackle weekend chores using a series of attachments that click into one shared power base. The beating heart of Milwaukee’s Quik-Lok system is an 18-volt battery pack with 9 amp hours—the larger the amp hours the bigger the battery tank, meaning extended runtime. We used the system this summer to trim lawn edges, prune trees, and tidy up hedges.
As a string trimmer, it reaches full speed in about a second, cranking along at 6,200 RPM as it clears a 16-inch diameter path. We never felt short-changed by power, even as we cleared some overgrown weeds in an ignored part of the yard, and certainly didn’t miss the rumble of an idling engine.
Despite the chunky battery, the trimmer had very good balance. Pruning trees is always safer when your feet are on terra firma. The Quik Lok 10-inch pole saw [$169] extends your reach about five feet up when clicked into the base and it chews through limbs.
Need more reach? Pair it with the extension pole [$54] to add an extra three feet. This is helpful for shorter trees, and will likely be the reason a neighbor will ask to borrow the Quik Lok.
Our favorite attachment is the articulating hedge trimmer [$164] that locks in at 13 different locations along 270 degrees, making it easy to shape the top sides and underneath hedges a breeze.
The edger attachment [$109] helps to redefine lawn edges, and is the one part of the system we think you could live without since you can hold your string trimmer like an edger.
The bottom line: This is the first battery-powered system with enough juice for pro landscapers to use, so you know it’ll be capable enough to tackle your backyard for years. Power is important but don’t short change these conveniences: not having to store dedicated tools or having to winterize gas engines. Not to mention the dicey proposition of getting finicky 2- and 4-cylinder engines to roar to life after a long winter asleep.
[From $478; milwaukeetool.com]